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2011 Gaithersburg Book Festival Education. (2011) Panel Mark LaFramboise, Jed Lyons, Gail Ross, Geoff Shandler. New.




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Us 14, Google 8, U.s. 3, Brown 3, Paris 3, Chicago 3, Simba 2, Geoff 2, Gail Ross 2, Jed Lyons 2, Geoff Shandler 2, Rowman & Littlefield 2, Miller 2, Barnes & Noble 2, Dario 2, Fiction 2, London 2, France 2, Washington 2, Charlie 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    2011 Gaithersburg Book Festival  Education.  (2011) Panel  
   Mark LaFramboise, Jed Lyons, Gail Ross, Geoff Shandler. New.  

    July 10, 2011
    4:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

because it's an inspirational journey. he takes real people from the past -- winston churchill, abraham lincoln, joan of arc, george washington carver -- and he weaves them in this a fictitious way but using real-life examples to inspire us to be better leaders. and andy's a perm friend. i also -- personal friend. i also just finished rereading harper lee's "to kill a mockingbird." i think it's second only to the bible in terms of the most number of copies print in the most number of languages around the world. so every year i make it a point to read "to kill a mockingbird." >> visit to see this and other summer reading
lists. .. >> next weekend. city people from all corners of the book industry will gather at book expo america. to discuss every aspect of the industry. i suspect many topics you about today will be the same subjects discussed next week. so please sit back and we offer you the c-span viewers an exciting chance to see behind
the curtain the power of what you will see in the future. michael is a senior analyst in the research firm simba information. without further ado, i will turn things over to michael. enjoy the panel. >> thank you very much, gene. my name is michael norris and i am senior analyst from simba information. and with me today is mark laframboise, the legendary politics and prose independent bookstore. jed lyons, the president and ceo of roman and littlefield and had a national book network. geoff shandler, editor-in-chief at little, brown and company, and gail ross, the president and founder of ross yoon agency. before i do a good job introducing everyone i just wanted to start off with a few words. i have instead in the publishing industry for about seven years now. it's a pretty longtime if you think about everything that has
happened in just the past three and a half, but over the past seven years or so, i watched a lot of changes going on in terms of not just what is being said about the future of books, but actually also who is talking about it. because over the years a lot of newspapers have really scaled back their coverage of books. and i can't think of a single paper off the top of my head that has scaled back their coverage of the tech industry, or technology industry. a lot of what we are seeing in just day to day press if it comes from the view and the lens of a tech columnist, or it calms from the marketing department of a multi-billion dollars organization that really has a big financial stake in the future of books. it's important to remember that if someone has a future that completely and 100% is tied up in e-books, they will try to
figure the book in the state of the book is all about e-books. now, in order to try to separate the rhetoric from the reality of simba information on with our parent company, we put together a nationally representative u.s. consumer survey. and we wanted to go to the entire u.s. adult population and basically ask who is buying these things anyway. do you buy e-books? what devices on which do you become how many books do you buy and so forth? and over the three-year period we've been collecting data and we have begun collecting it quarterly for our three e-book publishing 2011 report, we found that about 90% of the u.s. adult population hasn't bought a single solitary digital book. not a single e-book. we also found that because we asked questions that print book buyer still outnumber e-book buyers, about five to one. and the other thing we found out after is that with everything
has been said about some of the new devices that are out there, such as the ipad, we found about 40% of all ipad owners in the u.s. have the greatest single solitary e-book on the ipad. so, once you actually have a lot of independent and objective information about the book industry, and you think you can talk about the state of the book, and rather than doing that i want to talk about the state of one book. and this is a book i bought about six weeks ago. i was in, i would add about there and walking across this massive exhibition hall, and i just saw something that made me stop dead in my tracks. a very large, black wall which was the site of the publishers booth. and on the wall were all of these photographs, two-foot by three-foot photographs of really old and nice looking bicycles but if you spend more than five minutes with the outside of books, you know i'm really into
bicycles. i saw the site and i just thought to myself, wow, this is an incredible book. i thought it was an encyclopedic i knew nothing about the book. i did not where it was published. i did know what kind of book it was. i just knew i had to have the. i made up my mind i was not going to leave london without this book. and i know you're all wondering but yes, i was able to get the boat. i came into the fair the next day. i was able to get it, and this book is about this large, this thick. it's a very, very heavy book come and i had to carry it around with me the whole rest of the day because i never made it back to my hotel. i was really ready grateful to do that because the book is literally so gorgeous. i'm thinking about building a coffee table just to go with it. now, so when we discuss the future of the book, we really can't -- we can't build it on anything that steve jobs holds over his head in the math world. at the end of the day, you're
content or telling a story to a device that's going to be declared obsolete in 11 months. the future of the book regardless of format or how it is distributed, ever has to do with selling one book at a time to one person at a time, and really making the book have so much value, that somebody like myself did at the london book fair, will not care about any price barriers or any content barriers in order to get it. and we're always going to read books for ever. you can write that down and i will sign my name under it we will have the books forever but we will also have e-books forever. the future of the book is going to involve all of us talking about where one stands in relation to the other. and how we can get innovative and intelligent people to really talk about ways to make the industry better. so, with that i'd like to
introduce our first panelist. jed lyons coming as the president and ceo of rowman & littlefield publishing group. rowman & littlefield publishers about 1200 new books annually under the imprint of rowman & littlefield, scarecrow press, lexington books, gary dale press, government institutes, taylor trade, and others. jed also serves as ceo of national network, 200 independent publishers which rowman & littlefield launched in 1986. jed graduate from podunk college in 1974 and is a member of the chief executive organization, the council on foreign relations, in a chapter of washington national cathedral. jed, welcome. >> thank you. well, i've often heard the book business referred to as the accidental profession. and when i first got into this, 36 years ago, i asked why, and the reason i heard that there's really no way to prepare to be a
publisher, you can't, at least in those days you couldn't go and get a degree in publishing. you can now get even masters degree in publishing. but the accidental profession has now, as it's been now for longtime come if you'll indulge me i thought i would so you might accidental experience. so, like, my guess is like moses in the book business, it started in high school with a fabulous teacher at a suburban high school outside of chicago called barrington high school, where in the 1960s i was lucky enough to have a fantastic dead poets type english teacher named charlie weis. and in this gigantic public high school outside of chicago, charlie would show up every day, wearing a tweed jacket, paisley
ascot, long beard, long hair. and he was our hero. everything -- he was everything we wanted him to be. he got us interested in reading and writing. most of us had never had any interest in it at all. but we were very lucky to have a guy like him inspired us. so after high school i, literally the day after i graduated, i hitchhiked around the country to visit all of my favorite authors hans. i started off at concord massachusetts. i spent a week dodging all park rangers because it was not a public park. but i spent a week trying to commune with henry david thoreau. i hitchhiked down to the london connecticut and i found a bar where eugene o neill wrote the iceman. and even one of the bartenders. from there i went down to see
thomas wolfe's hot. then out to new mexico because i was a big lawrence van at the time. and actually met dh lawrence's widow. he had married late in life come he was married to a much younger woman and she was still living in the house. so by now you can imagine i have a full head of steam after a summer of visiting all these famous authors homes. and finally wound up in san francisco, checking out where all of the beat poets and others were. so, now i'm off to college, going to college up in maine. and, of course, i'm going to be an english major. and i was lucky enough to have some great teachers there, too, who we teach herman melville,
and would go out to the home of the professor which was situated on the rocks overlooking the atlantic, and he would talk about ahab and the whale, this was all very real to me. so after college, more hitchhiking. and now i'm trying to become the great american novelist. and i am not making much headway. i'm having a great time, but i find it very difficult to sit down and actually write something that is longer than a short story. so, eventually i just had to come to the realization that i wasn't going to be the great american writer. maybe i would explore something else, and publishing seemed like the next best thing. so, 36 years ago, we started our little company here in maryland. that was after i pounded on doors in new york city, try to
find a job in publishing. thousand late 1975. there were very few jobs available. anyway, i've never regretted the choice. publishing is a wonderful business, and although today when i meet people for the first time to say i'm in the book publishing business, they can look at me like i have a terminal illness. are you okay? how are things going? i mean, you're actually still publishing books? yes, as a matter fact we are. we had our best year ever in 2010. but what has changed is that we're publishing many more books than we used to because we are selling many fewer copies of the books that we publish. and this is one of the phenomenon that i'll talk about in a minute. it's hard to imagine that just 10 years ago there were just 50,000 new books a year being
published in the united states. five years ago, it ratcheted up to 180,000 new books a year. and that's one book every 30 seconds. and last year, 1 million new books, approximate 1 million new books were published. so in 10 years we have gone from 50,000 new books, to 1 million. vast majority of those, you might imagine, are self published, and companies like authors solutions in indiana have purchased a lot of self-publishing businesses. and actually do what they do very well. but the majority of these books are not being sold through normal channels. and they're also not being sold widely. the average sale of an authors
solutions book is under 100, 100 copies pixel after you have exhausted mom and dad and aunts and uncles, there aren't many books being sold. the number of publishers is also skyrocketed. there's about 70,000 publishers in the united states today. and, of course, it's much easier to be a publisher, hang out a shingle, the technology is much be sure to work with, typesetting, printing is easier. so, there are many more publishers, many more books being published. now you have e-books entry the fray, and that i predict will ratchet up even faster because now a lot of authors just skip the book and go straight to the e-book. and i have a lot of second thoughts about that. what is selling in the world of a million new titles a year? well, i would say probably
two-thirds of those books are fiction, and half of those are erotica. that means almost half a million are erotica. and i guess these are fantasies that authors are putting down on paper. i'm not sure who the customers are, but they're having a lot of fun writing them anyway. so, let me talk for just a little bit about the books. e-book sales last year were around 6% industrywide. talk about different categories, it's much higher, or lower. fiction, nonfiction doesn't sell as well as fiction. and erotica fiction sells better than fiction. so, a lot of the things being sold through e-books is fictional, and a lot of that is
erotica. the nonfiction space i think will probably double, e-books sales will probably double this year. they will still be under 10% in the nonfiction category, but that is double which means that our sales which are tracking pretty much along these lines going from 3% in '09 to 6% this year, i think they'll be 10-12%. that's a doubling of sales. now, what does that mean to us as publishers? it's actually great news because we don't have to pay to print, bind, ship and run warehouse is to sell these books. my bank loves it because the margin on e-books is much better. and literary agent like gaia will tell you that's good for us as well as publishers. so the margin really is significantly better. and economics of the book business are getting better because of e-books.
so as the books go i think the importance of publishing the power of the industry, strength, economic strength of the industry, will improve and it's all good. kindle is the number one best selling e-book vendor, by i think a wide margin. and most people i speak tocome and ask people this question all the time, seem to think that the candle is the easiest on the eyes. my wife loves her kindle. the ipad is also very popular, but they have two different strategies. kindle strategy is to be an inch deep and a mile wide, all things for all people, make available every single book. the same strategy amazon has
followed in books and in any other category in which they are retailing. though they are making available a huge number, millions of titles, and selling small quantities happily. where the apple ipad is taking exactly the opposite tactic. just as they did when they opened up itunes. they are going deep into categories, where they know best selling fiction primarily and best selling nonfiction's sell. but they're not interested in being all things to all people. they want to sell bestsellers by best selling authors, which come mostly from major publishers. so it's a completely different business model. they are also falling something called the agency planned model, where they are sharing 70% of their revenue with the publishers as opposed to kindle which is using what i think is an outdated model, retail model, which is really like going to
the bookstore at 50%. then third become the barnes & noble nook, the new color nook is on display over here, and they cling to 25% of the market. there's big news that barnes & noble may be purchased, which is probably good for barnes & noble. and we want to see barnes & noble so by. we want to see borders survive, too. we are working to try to keep them alive. then there's the sony reader, the motorola zoom, but the real wild card in my opinion is google. unlike all the others, google doesn't have a dedicated device. google is selling content through the cloud to anyone's devise. it could be an ipad. anything but kindle because kindle will not sell google's products. but you can purchase google
content on a blackberry, on your pc, whatever. and a big advantage that google has, because they've been digitizing books much longer than anyone else, they have a much larger stable of content. and i think that they could be a very, very significant player. they just launched their new e-book business in december. so they are the last entrance into the business. and i would watch them very carefully. there are altogether, as far as we know, 50 customers buying e-books right now. many of them are aggregators buying books for library, library consortiums such as net library. so, i would just conclude by saying i would be concerned about the proliferation, or e-book is that by removing the
filter that publishers provide, we are going to be flooded with an awful lot of books that probably should have seen the light of day. and i hate to be sounding like what may be an elitist note, but then again i am here to talk about publishing. and publishing does provide an important filter, and hopefully protect the other from some of the, what otherwise might be, so i think i will stop right there. >> thank you, jed. our next panelist is geoff shandler. geoff is the editor in chief of little, brown and company, one of america's oldest publishers. he start his career at random house in 1993, and among the authors he is edited is malcolm gladwell, james bradley, robert wright and the comic geniuses of the onion. his office include dana priest
and evan thomas, charlie savage and others. and his greatest moment in book publishing occurred this past year wind come in his book, the fifth witness, best selling thriller writer michael, named the law firm shanda, massey and ortiz, which is his first but probably not his last cameo appearance in the book. geoff, welcome. i'm going to be quick because i think questions we were interesting. and their were many things to do that we differ on, for different data publisher. one thing quickly i just want to make it clear after speaking for myself, not for little brown or the company that owns us. i want to talk about library furniture. and there's a reason for that and actually this is a perfect place for it because of mark, the transit system here. there's another market as well, which is a system that was introduced in the early '60s to automate the transfer and
recording of the geographic information. so it came about at a time where the digital revolution was really starting and it started earlier but it was getting going and it was a great idea in a lot of ways, which was too great was effectively an electronic card count. and if you were born probably before 1980 you remember card catalog. and card catalog for pretty sweet. you like these big things and they were like two feet deep and you pull them out and had a card. the card with the entire library catalog by number, and within alphabetic order of author name, these sorts of things. and they were fantastic, almost in the same way library stacks are fantastic, and that there were certain degree of serendipity when you look up a book. so even if you knew you what you are looking for, you had to laboriously through these cards, and you often find something you never expected to get it and it
was just such a wealth of it. i mean, i grew up in a town where there was one library, and it was one huge library. but its holdings went to my mind as a kid massive. one of the great liberating things about a card catalog or stacks, even if small libra, not only did i realize there were more books out there than i could ever read, i realized they were more books out there that i could never read that i wanted to read. and i would find stuff after stuff in wandering the stack on the way to something else. i would stumble upon a whole host of shells that was nothing i expected. and i would devote myself to those. in college, i went to college with a fantastic library, one of the world's biggest libraries, and it was amazing to go in the stacks, and not only would you find again millions of books that you could never read, but old books. 18th century books on the shelves. there was a rare book library where i went to school that was so amazing, and i'm not entirely
sure this was true the. everyone said it, and the reference library had this core in the middle where they kept the service a rare things like the bible and things like this. it was a nuclear attack, built in the '60s, this core would sink into the ground and be entombed. so for future generations the books would be saved. and that was incredible, right? object. >> at yale. so there's something that was fantastic about that serendipitous encounter with books, or the things as well that you didn't expect. that the virtue and a wonderful way. i know for myself many other books that i discover that way turned out to be my favorite books. so when we talk about a lot of stuff, and we will about the digital transformation of the book business, the thing that worries me the most is that we are in an ecosystem, which we're all complicit with often
inadvertently, which is that information online has been personalized based on all sorts of interactions you've had with the web that you did not realize were so influential. one of the sites we like to use at work, not surprisingly is because actually not all of us passionate even then it's like a silly thing to rack your brain for that word when you can look it up. but when you -- is anyone here ever?, when you go to bed has 243 little cookies on your computer. every tom, right? and that track shoe -- added is doing that to get information about you, because they look at what you looked up and they can extrapolate from that and they sell it to advertisers and other countries. you can imagine when you're constantly voluntary putting a stuff up like on facebook or gmail where google will stand your mail for key words, stuff like that, there's so much
people know about you. they know so much. there's a firm in arkansas that actually has this like four-acre server farm, and you can pay them and they will tell you so much about yourself. you even tell you if you're right or left handed. they know everything, right? they know everything. so what happens and maybe have noted this as well, some of the ads you get on the outskirts of these webpages, they are not like totally care but they're kind of tailored, you know? and they stick with you. like you are on one side and you could say i'm you could be looking up on kayak to the travel site, fly to qu├ębec city, right? and subsequent pages personal things about french lessons, you know? this kind of thing follows you. they can even go page to page. this is a very lucrative business for google and facebook and whatnot. so the good of it, right, wikipedia is amazing. fantastic.
it's amazing and a lot of ways. but your information and your profile in the mind of advertisers and vendors comes very specific. maybe in ways that are constricting. certainly reduces serendipity. and that when you look for summit on an online bookseller, for instance, you know, there's the recommend. but it's a tiny fraction of what you see if you walk in a bookstore, even a small book for a 10 -- a small bookstore. there's an interesting statistic that was out last year from a rival company where they did a survey of 43,000 americans, and they looked at book buying. and they found that shoppers who shop online, online booksellers, 28% of them end up buying something they didn't expect to buy. but in physical bookstores, 43%. so that's a huge 15% spread.
and actually it's a very ominous in a lot of ways for book publishers and authors who are hoping people walk in, walk out with other impulse purchases. that's a huge, huge gap. there are a million great things about online book selling. it's been a very good business so far for us. i grew up in a small place, i could not buy, you know, 0.00 whatever percent of the books that i can buy now. it's fantastic. ..
>> how do people decide and how are people surprised? ultimately what happens otherwise if you have such a narrowing and you guys can agree on this what kinds of books we're exposed to and if you're not exposed to it, you don't know about it. a huge challenge now is how do we surprise people? the card catalog, not to put too much into it, a card catalog is a product of 1789 in france. it's linked if not only historically, but an enlightened set of values, and there's something about a card catalog that is absolutely amazing, and i go back next weekend for my 20th reunion at college, and i went to speak there last year,
and there were card catalogs. there was a digital catalog when i was there, but i went to the shelfs, and they are all empty. in fact, their universities and nyu did this, there was such celebration, they burned the cards. it was a big thing. again, lots of advantages. it's cool to have interlibrary loans the way you couldn't with an old library card, but this is an old thought. for us the challenge is how do we surprise people when they are going to buy books? that is something we have to solve or the market is going to be narrow, narrow, narrow for the same things we talk about. the one last example is the long tail argument. because of inventory, you know, everything can be found. there's truth to that, but in the movie business ten years
ago, they thought that would lead to independent films, but it's been the opposite. you have the big comedies, the independent film market has effectively died in america. i don't think it's an era where people find everything. in fact, there's great tendency for the big block buster stuff to be stronger and stronger and stronger. we look for help in how to break that and small bookstores are a way, but not the only way, and there's issues there too. >> thanks, geoff. >> next panelist is from a bookstore, he's from politics and prose up dependent bookstore. i bought a book there last year. he's originally from chicago working at independent bookstores since 1991 and started at a small store in illinois and was the head buyer at the stone lion bookstore in
fort collins colorado for five years. spent the last 13 years as the book buyer at politics and prose and he's the regional book seller's trade organization covering new york, new jersey, delaware, northern virginia, and washington, d.c.. mark, welcome. >> [inaudible] [inaudible] >> my opinion now is a great time to be an independent book seller. the challenge and opportunity and with great challenge comes great opportunity. we have great challenges. our challenge we face is real and the approachment of e-book
soles and those dominated by amazon and apple, although we sell e-books too. you can buy them from us. increasing competition with young potential leaders with social media -- [inaudible] we face challenges before, exposed growth of national change of superstores in the late 90s and 2000. they have not been obligated to charge sale taxes, and yet we survived. while the idea and reality of the bookstore, there's importance to communities and authors. hosting and sponsoring neighborhood book groups and
staging author events, providing meeting space for neighborhood agent vism, aiding in fundraising for churches, schools, and synagogues, and not to mention the stocking of books to entertain readers of every age. we serve as a center for creative writing in our community. authors and publishers depend on independent bookstores not only to make books available but agent as a bridge. now how and when to december play -- [inaudible] even with the arrival of e-books, the market is far from dead. in the u.s. between new books, old editions, and old ones, but 288,000 suggested healthy book markets.
this doesn't account for self-published and on-demand books whiching the for another three quarters of a million books, and these figures came from an article in higher education about the information age. in that same article, this year e-books are expected to reach 15%-20%, but their indications that the printed book sales has increased at the same time. i approached a gentlemen with a stack of books and i asked if he had everything he was looking for. i offered to order him another book, but he decided just to down load it. e-books, hard cover, paperback books are going to co-exist. predict that readers will read books. our challenge is to agree readership and as an up
dependent bookstore buying traditional books, but it's our chance to find readers whether it's a regular book. our challenge is best met and we at politics and prose, more particularly, we continue to do what we do best, agenting as a bridge between the community and market book world and entertaining customers with a rich variety of books for sale and having a stage for authors to present their work and making use available resources and achieve goals. we have to demonstrate it every day, so i think that l biggest challenge is to find more readers and whether it's an e-reader or plap old regular
traditional book that we love, our challenge is to turn nonreaders into readers. >> thanks so much, mark. next is gail ross. she says that each of her new projects must meet two important criteria, make her daughters proud and justify set her daughters' education. she represents nonfiction and they work closely with first time authors and earned the reputation for providing guidance at all stages of the publishing process. through the blog and regular happy hours, she encouraged writers to view themselves in a community helping one another towards success. she's a media lawyer where she advises individuals, companies, and non-profits on copyrights, publishing, new media, and
licensing. gayle, welcome. >> thank you. anything you put on the internet, you're about to hear back. you have to make sure -- one child is already through college, and the other is almost done, so now i can take that and part of what i'm here to do today here is talk about authors and money in the new environment. a couple things of the state of the book from my perspective. i had the wonderful, wonderful privilege of working in this business as both a media lawyer for about 0 years and an agent for 22 of those years in dc which i think is the nonfiction capitol of the country, and i've also seen a lot of e-book revolution. my lawyer was working on electronic journal contract for the learner's societies i represented over the years since
as early as 1990. i've seen a lot. this last year is about the most positive year i've seen. i was saying last week the mood -- i go to manhattan a lot -- and the mood in publishing a year ago was much different than it is today. we are starting to understand what's going on, and the president of one company said to me that she feels like -- it's the wild west now, but she says she feels like she had 30 years experience, but feels like it's a new job. it's an interesting time. we make up rules, working on contract language is both befuddling and exciting because the lang about e-book and multimedia is all in play, and confusing us all, and making my
authors frustrated at times and different people at different publishing houses are responding to our treaties about that in different ways, but it happens to be a very nice business, and people generally collaborative and seeing authors and publishers for the most part are on the same page with the same interests and really fundamentally we all share the same interests which is getting more people to read. i've become agnostic about what the device it. i just want the next generation to read more. one statistic who didn't say is how many americans buy books at all, and that's a fairly low percentage, and i worry about that. i mean, i love my hard cover books, but whatever anybody buys is fine with me.
one of the reasons i love my hard cover books is because of how hi authors get paid for the hard cover royalty versus the electronic royalty. as you may or may not know, the traditional royalty structure for a major -- a book from a trade publisher -- is a list price royalty, and it's based -- that's based on -- for purposes of this talking on the price of the book, the actual price of the book, and if you get 15% royalty on a $26 book, that's $3.90 that's credited to the author's royalty account. that's for a hard cover book. if you use the agency model as mentioned for an e-book, the publisher sets the price, it's usually $12.99 or $13.99.
we'll say $13 to keep the math simple. what the author gets is 25% of the net received by the publisher, okay? so in this case, an istore or whom ever it is, google or amazon with publishers now pays 70 #% of the $13. that's $9.10 to the publisher. 25% of that is $2.28. that same book being published at the same time, your hard cover to the author, royalty of three whatever i just said, $3.90 versus $2.28. when the trade paper bark is out, that's different, and, in fact, the money to the author's account from the e-book sale is better. the paperback, $15 retail, the
net to the publisher is $7.50, and 7.5% list price royalty which is typical, nets to the author at $1.13 for the trade paperback. if the trade paperback is out, you're at a $10, that's the publisher online for an e-book, that's what the publisher prices it at is $10. that's 70%, nets the publisher $7, and then the author's getting 25% of the net from the publisher. in this case, the author gets $1.75. when the trade paperback is out, the e-royalty is better for the author, but when the hard cover is out, the e-book is less
advantageous. this is where many of us have been very upset at times, the question of when did we publish the e-book compared to the hard cover? in the beginning, there was a move so that the e-book did not come out at the same time as the hard cover. there was a period of time for some people, six months, for others, six weeks, but there was a period of time when people cowrld buy the hard cover and the e-book wasn't available, and it was a lot of discussion, a lot of unsureness, and the horse is out of the corral, and that's not going to change now. if you request get the e-book for $13 online, do you really want to pay $26 or even the discount from a bookstore. there is a difference. there's definitely a difference. those are some of the numbers.
it has had an effect on advancing that are provided to authors. how much? i can't really tell because it's too early, and the publishers are having a hard time putting in a factor for how many e-books they are selling. still, non fiction is still pretty much 10%-15% and in some cases it's gone from 3 to 6 in one year. it's gone up. in the fiction world, it's very, very different. there's been a huge impact there. in some cases, the publishers seek 50% of the fiction titles sold electronically. that has a huge, huge effect on the royalties, and especially when the hard covers are out as i said, so i used to go around the country talking about e-books and saying that i would never -- people my age would never read an e-book if they
were prone, you know, out of bed, on a beach, on a couch, but i've become a total diva. i did a very interesting thing recently. i was in europe, and i had an experience i never had before. i read fiction for pleasure because i spend so much time working in the nonfiction area, and i always read one at a time, totally engrossed, and i love it. well, i was going to paris, and i was reading the paris wife nosm, halfway through it on the way over, and i down loaded immovable speed because i thought i should read that too. a friend of my is writing a book about to come out about seduction in france, and that's in pdf form, and she sent it to me, and where we stayed at, there's a book about restaurants in paris, so i downloaded that,
and then we were going on a walk, and i needed -- i didn't want to carry my ipad, it's heavier than i'd like. i have the first one, and i went into shakespeare and company and sat at a cafe to read. when i got back i had read eight books, but i was going back and forth, and it was a very interesting experience. i'm not sure i want to do it more than once a year, but it was different, and i loved it, and now i'm reading one novel at a time, but on my ipad. thank you. >> thank you so much, gail. still a few minutes left, and would love to take questions if you have them. please step up to the microphone. >> hi, is it possible to get an independently published book distributed widely in bookstores, and if it isn't, why? and if it is, how?
>> we represent a lot of self-published books and try to do it from people who live in our neighborhood. we think it's part of our mission to be our neighborhood bookstore. we do -- [inaudible] we're very free and very open to the idea, but we get requests because people see us on c-span or whatever and booked published in other parts of the country independently and on a self-published platform stay on the self, but if it's a local author, we're happy to be that place where they can point people to come buy their book. >> i'd like to ask about library acquisitions and how that's changing. a lot of folks, $12.99 is not
something they can do on a regular basis. with the exposure and are -- my suspicion based on month come ri couldn't libraries is there's fewer books purchased by libraries and fewer books that are available. >> it's been quite a while since i've seen data on trends in that regard, but any others have any thoughts on that? >> i think libraries are mostly getting burned, you know, by the world, but there's a real debate going on with plushers about e-books and how toking the for the borrowing of e books. there's a general risk worth mentioning. e-books are free, but there's a huge amount of back office stuff so for instance creating systems by which you can track how many
times a library book has went out, and if it reaches a certain point, there's discussions if it's out for so much time, how does that work? no one's figured it out. there's a lot of systems dwopped, and there's some big publishers who really are not kind to libraries, but i think most people in the book business grew up loving library, and on the other hand, we cannot give away the books for a lot of reasons including the author's deserving to be compensated for them. >> [inaudible] i remember meeting with a publisher at ba once e enand i said are you going out with the authors tonight or the stores? he said i'm taking the librarians out. in a given year if he gets the buyer from all around the boston area, they buy more books than
most of the independent bookstores he's dealing with. he was very smart and sold a lot of books that way. with those cut backs, there's a big effect on the marketplace. >> i just wondering how you saw e-books changing the market for the back catalog in particular because one of the more frustrating things for a reader is books going out of print because there's no market for them, but if the margin is lower for producing an e-book and so on, and does something where you see out of print books becoming more and more rare and just going to e-book rather than previously that had been kind of the exclusive -- i mean, you had to go to a used bookstore whereas now it's more possible that these things will be available. >> it's actually pretty great i
mean, that they're available because in a way they are not. the author can be compensated for the sales unlike a huge big store where structures are great, but the author doesn't get more money when the book is resold. the inventory of digital books is fantastic and a lot of books are not paperbacked at all. you know, a lot of the books we do as well because we sold so few copies in hard cover that it's not sensible for book shops to order a lot of copies because they have limited space. you know, i think it's pretty great. >> the other thing is the print on demand capabilities. i have several authors whose books would be out of print. they could write the letter, get a reversion just immediately, but they've left them in print with the publisher and go around the country doing speaking and the places where they speak, order the books, print on demand, it's a little bit more expensive than the book would be
otherwise, looks just like the book, but it keeps them in business and the cliebilities don't have to -- clients don't have to pay for more costs. rather than asking for the rights back, they keep it with the publisher and order print on demand copies. very efficient. >> one more question. >> yeah. i assume google is going after same stress, the copyright has expired on, and do they have people physically in library copying things or -- because i found a book of family history on google reader, and i was really surprised, and i just wound earned are individuals uploading things too or how does that work? >> it's an ethics saga. this is a huge thing, and it's too boring to get into, but basically several years ago, google did deals with some of the major libraries in the world and scanned enormous amount of
content. >> [inaudible] >> it's google. they have every built of information. it's amazing effort they did, it's an incredible amount of stuff. >> and then they were sued by authors and authors guild and by others for the ones not out of print, but there was a settlement, and now the settlement is in a ban. there's more to come. >> so are thaw going after more stuff? >> sure, they have. everything you could find in the library everywhere. >> google is everywhere. >> yeah. >> well, thank you for the questions and your attendance. thank all the panelists. [applause] >> thank you for coming. the keynote speech is next door. >> this event took place at the
second annual book festival. visit for more information. >> i tried to be a big supporter for the arts community, but in 1977, maybe 76, i got a call from some business people in the city who said do you know mr. dario? i had never met him. it was a guy named dario who opened the ocean state theater at the time, and he said he wants to tear that place down. i said, that's terrible. he said, do you know him? i said i don't know him. they said, can you cull him and make an appointment not to tear it down. i said, why can i do that? he said, you're ioal lain. [laughter] i said, that's real sensitive. i called him, made and
appointment, and i'll never forget going in the big car, and when i got out, these two german shepherds came lunging at me. i said, you ring the doorbell. he said, what are you? nuts? [laughter] he puts dogs down, they were heeling, and so i went in the house, he invited the dogs into the house. [laughter] we went out to dirp and i gave him the reasons why not to tear the theater down. he said, you want to do me a favor? i said yes, he said, get me a demolition permit. i said, you would not tear it down. i said, well, you mean business. i convinced him to come to my office monday, but his lawyer was lenny, and we can't put them in the same room because they hated each other, and so he
said, okay, well, we negotiated a deal, the city put a lot of money into it, and we agreed, and dari was in my office, and timely, they all said yes, and he said after reagreed, he said, what about my other $40,000? he talked broken english. they promised me a thousand a day to negotiate. it's been 40 days. i called miller. never heard miller swear in my life other than that day. i said forget about it, forget i called. deal is off, i'll handle it. i said to dario. they don't know about it. oh, that's why i captain trust them, forget the deal. i said, what if i can give you some of it, $20,000? i said i'll make